Liv Ullmann is co-founder of the Women’s Refugee Commission and remains a passionate advocate for the rights of women, children and adolescent refugees worldwide. She is also Vice Chair, International, of the International Rescue Committee.
Ms. Ullmann was born in Japan to Norwegian parents but spent most of her childhood in Norway. Originally a stage actress, she has starred in four plays on Broadway. Her portrayal of a mute actress in Ingmar Bergman’s 1966 movie Persona brought her to the world’s attention. Her collaboration with Bergman lasted for more than 40 years and she received two “Best Actress” Oscar nominations for her roles in the films The Emigrants and Face to Face.
More recently Ms. Ullmann has moved to the other side of the camera to a successful directing career. Her movie Faithless received international acclaim and was a contender for the Golden Palm at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. In 2009, she directed A Streetcar Named Desire, featuring Cate Blanchett in the lead role. The play ran in Sydney, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
In addition, Ms. Ullmann is the author of two books, Changing and Choices, which have been printed in more than 30 languages.
Ms. Ullmann read the acceptance speech of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo at the ceremony in Oslo in December 2010, when Mr. Liu was prevented from traveling to Norway by the Chinese government.